Icy cold water? Not for days on end in this house
The stakes in our battles aren't nearly as high as the confrontations between the north and south, the farmers and urbanites, the wasters by extravagant lawn watering and those who conserve every drop possible.
Our disputes instead revolve around a tiny half-gallon jug. The issue: Who should refill it?
It was a problem that didn't exist in our old house, where the fridge was equipped with in-door water and ice. That system carried its own set of problems - diluvian floods caused by people too small to see when their cups were full - but at least there were no droughts.
The fridge in the new house, though, has no such amenities. That meant we were forced to default to a good old-fashion water jug, which in turn triggered battles just like the ones from my childhood.
"Who left the $#!@ water jug empty?"
Being a good citizen of the household, it wasn't me. And for weeks, out of concern for my fellow man, I dutifully refilled the jug every time it was left empty on the counter or the fridge. Eventually, though, I'd spent so much time on the high road that I developed altitude sickness.
I'd tried talking, pleading, griping and whining. There was nothing left to do but boycott. When the jug was left empty on the counter Wednesday night, I vowed not to touch it.
"Where's the water jug?" Big Guy asked when he got home from school the next day.
"It's on the counter, where someone left it," I said.
"Can I have water," Boots asked a bit later.
"Sure," I replied, filling his cup from the tap.
"No, I want water from the fidgerator."
"There isn't any. Someone left it empty."
I'll note that it didn't bother either of them enough for them to volunteer to refill it. It appears that the task had been mentally assigned under the category of "women's work," along with picking up stinky socks and tracking lost shoes and every other small but annoying job that no one notices until it's not done.
I am woman, hear me roar. And fill up your own $#!@ water jug.
A funny thing happened overnight, and when I got up Friday morning, the jug no longer was on the counter. It was in the fridge, filled to the brim.
Turns out that refilling the water isn't strictly women's work after all. Next we'll work on the socks.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg.